The Hissing of Snakes

The Pharisees had accused Jesus of casting out demons by the power of Satan (12:24). In other words, they had labeled the good work of Christ, done by the power of the Holy Spirit, as evil. They should have known better, for Jesus had given them plenty of evidence that He was the Son of God, empowered by the Spirit of God. Their criticism of Him, therefore, demonstrated that they were allies of the Devil, “that ancient serpent” (Revelation 12:9). Jesus had heard the hissing of God’s inveterate enemy in the wilderness (Matthew 4:3-10), and recognized his voice in the words of the Pharisees. That’s why he called them, “offspring of vipers.” Then He went to the root of the matter: Since they were, like Satan, wicked to the core, how could they utter anything good? The condition of the heart determines the character of our speech. To put it another way, our words reflect our inner nature. This especially applies to what we say about others, and particularly about God and His Son, Jesus. Now is the time to examine our heart, using our tongue as a standard. Are we critical of others? Do we express unbelief in God’s goodness? Are our lips filled with praise and thanks to our heavenly Father for His grace to us and to others who believe in Christ? What is our “native tongue”? What kind of “abundance” fills our inner self? In other words, whose children are we?